Keeping in touch - November 2021

Paul Blomfield MP
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This month has seen the Tories bring shame on British politics again, but I'm pleased we forced them to scrap their plan to change the system in their favour. Along with my newsletter, I'm sharing details of the Christmas appeal I've launched for Afghanistan in partnership with Save the Children - please find out more and donate here.

Challenging Boris Johnson on building safety

Following a TV interview in which he'd made disparaging comments about a constituent, I challenged Boris Johnson to meet her to discuss the worries she faced as a flat-owner in Wicker Riverside - but he doubled down on his comments in a shocking response. Watch our exchange here.
Mental health provision in schools

I spoke in a debate on counselling in schools, urging ministers to better fund mental health provision for children and young people, following calls from students in schools I have visited during the Big Conversation. Read more here.

Free Nazanin

I joined MPs and Peers visiting Richard Ratcliffe during his hunger strike outside the Foreign Office, calling on Liz Truss to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other British nationals detained in Iran. Read more here.

International Students' Day

I hosted an online meeting with cross-party colleagues and students to celebrate International Students' Day and the introduction of the graduate work visa, for which I successfully campaigned.

Hearing from small businesses

As a part of my Big Conversation, I met with small business owners in Sheffield along with MakeUK and the Federation of Small Businesses, discussing their challenges as a result of Brexit and the pandemic.

Universal Credit cut and disability support

I pressed Minsters on the £10 million lost by 9,000 Sheffield families with 4,500 children, and the particular problems with Work Capability Assessments for those with disabilities. Watch here.

Child obesity

I spoke at the AGM of Shine Health Academy, a Manor-based group I've worked with on child obesity. Read more here.

Keeping BTECs

I challenged the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi on proposed plans to end funding for most BTEC courses, taking away huge opportunities for many students. Read more here.

Climate emergency

I joined a climate justice march to coincide with COP26, and I will be hosting my Big Conversation meeting focussing on the climate crisis this evening (24 Nov) at 7pm which you can sign up for here.

My Xmas Appeal for Afghan children

I've teamed up with Save the Children to launch an appeal for Afghan children who are facing starvation in what a UN official described as the "worst humanitarian crisis we've ever seen". Read more and donate here.

Rail betrayal

Having long campaigned for rail improvements I spoke out against the Government's broken promises in their announcement on northern rail investment, and backed bringing buses under public control. Read more here.

Student debt repayments

After reports that the Government are planning to make lower-paid graduates pay back more of their loans, I asked the Universities Minister to rule out this retrospective change. Watch our exchange here.

UK Trade and Business Commission

I chaired a meeting of the UK Trade and Business Commission considering the impact of the Brexit deal on the services sector. See more here.

Community notices

IWGB rally: I will be speaking at a rally in support of IWGB couriers this Sunday 28th November at 12 noon. Find out more here.

Climate Summit: Join the South Yorkshire Global Climate Justice Summit on 27th November from 10am-4pm. Find out more here.

South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit: Read this update from the Unit on the Forging ahead programme and measures being taken to prevent drink spiking.

Renters Reform: Sign Shelter's petition on the Renters Reform Bill here, calling for an end to the section 21 eviction as well as a national landlord register.

Support for victims of domestic abuse: 08088082241 is the Sheffield helpline (open Mondays to Fridays 8am-7pm & Saturdays 9am-5pm) and 08082000247 offers support nationally 24/7.

Nether Edge and Sharrow Foodbank: Supporting vulnerable people in the area, this recently established project is fundraising to continue their work providing food packs. Please donate here.

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